Reflections on worship (music) / Why we will (n)ever be… A rebuttal
Around this time last year, I wrote what I thought was a thought-out argument for abandoning one of my favourite songs by Bethel. The essence of my argument was 1) the use of anecdotal evidence to explain why bad theology hurts people; 2) why Bethel might be purporting bad theology; 3) making a connection between what we support with our pockets and our theology. You can read the full post here: https://storyofmybecoming.com/2021/01/18/bye-bethel/.
Since then, I have read Finding the Right Hills to Die On: The Case for Theological Triage by Gavin Ortlund. That book probably changed my life. It is one of the most helpful books in thinking about what our lines of fellowship should be with those in different Christian traditions, and how we ought to classify or rank disagreements with them. More recently, I read an article by Sam Storms where he essentially relies on similar arguments like those of Gavin Ortlund, specifically in relation to Bethel and Hillsong music. It’s good, really good. I encourage you to read the full thing here: https://www.samstorms.org/enjoying-god-blog/post/a-defense-of-singing-songs-from-bethel-and-hillsong.
Currently, I am inclined to disagree with my own thinking and align more with Sam’s perspective on this. The need to wrestle with this publicly is because the critique was public and loud, so I think the wrestle with that position should equally be public and loud. Most of the disagreements I would have classified as primary this time last year, I would argue are either secondary or tertiary issues. The reason theological triage is so important is lest we classify issues incorrectly, and make them either bigger or smaller than they should be. I think I may have erred on the former side on this issue and I want to journey with you all again on reworking my perspective on what is worth and not worth letting go of as Christians.
Sam expanded on his blog post in this podcast: https://player.fm/series/2801349/305017699
Grace and peace friends!